Wednesday, July 29, 2009

DTN News: France Deployed 3 Tiger Combat Tiger Helicopters To Afghanistan

DTN News: France Deployed 3 Tiger Combat Tiger Helicopters To Afghanistan
*Source: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) PARIS, France - July 29, 2009: France has sent three Tiger attack helicopters to Afghanistan, marking the first operational deployment of the aircraft, the ministry of defense said. "On July 26, three Tiger combat helicopters arrived at Kabul airport by Antonov 124," the ministry said in a posting on its Web site. The EC665 Tiger helicopter is being developed for France and Germany in three configurations, UHT multi-role fire support for the German Army and HAD multi-role combat and HAP combat support for the French Army. Tiger is being built by Eurocopter, a subsidiary of the EADS (European Aeronautics Defence and Space) company formed by DaimlerChrysler Aerospace of Germany, Aerospatiale Matra of France and CASA of Spain. A deployment of the Tiger aircraft has been long awaited after a deadly ambush by insurgents last August, which brought criticism on the French government for what was seen as inadequate resources for French troops despatched to Afghanistan. The Tiger aircraft, in the hélicoptère d'appui et de protection (HAP) version, will be used for armed reconnaissance and fire support for ground troops, the ministry said. The aircraft are expected to be operational in a few weeks, said a video clip produced by the ministry and ECPAD, the ministry's audiovisual production arm. The three Tiger helicopters, equipped with a chin mounted 30 mm gun, will boost the coalition air assets, to which France contributes three Caracal EC725 combat search and rescue aircraft and three Gazelle "Viviane" light reconnaissance helicopters, based in Kabul. The 5th regiment of combat helicopters, based in Pau, southern France, will operate the Tigers. France has ordered a first batch of 40 Tigers out of a planned 80 units from EADS Eurocopter. In the Aug. 18 ambush in the Uzbeen valley last year, the French forces relied on air support from U.S. AC-130 and F-16 aircraft, with surveillance from a Predator UAV.

DTN News: Pakistan Has Not Yet Tagged al-Qaeda A Terrorist Group

DTN News: Pakistan Has Not Yet Tagged al-Qaeda A Terrorist Group *Source: DTN News / M E Transparent Amir Mir (NSI News Source Info) LAHORE, Pakistan - July 29, 2009: The provincial government of the Pakistani Punjab’ sudden move on July 15, 2009 to dissociate itself from the Hafiz Mohammad Saeed detention case in the Supreme Court of Pakistan was driven by the fact that the PPP’s central government lacked substantial evidence against the Jamaatul Daawa (JuD) ameer Hafiz Mohammad Saeed to convince the court to allow his continued preventive detention, thus making it difficult for the right-wing Sharif government to yet again seek his house arrest for an indefinite period. As a three-member Supreme Court bench, comprising of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Sair Ali and Justice Jawad Khawaja, was hearing two identical petitions filed by the federal and Punjab governments against the June 3 release of Hafiz Saeed by the Lahore High Court, the Advocate General Punjab Raza Farooq surprised everyone in the court room on July 15 by seeking withdrawal of the Punjab government’s appeal. Stating that it was not possible to pursue the petition on the basis of the evidence that the Punjab government had against Hafiz Saeed, the Advocate General said he had instructions from the provincial government to withdraw the petition. Despite the fact that the appeal does not stand withdrawn as of now, legal experts have a unanimous opinion that the federal government will have no other choice but to let this happen if the Punjab government so desires. Six months after being placed under house arrest by the Punjab government [which was actually acting under the instructions of the federal government], the Lahore High Court ordered the release of Saeed, saying the authorities had failed to justify his detention under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO). Mr A. K. Dogar, the counsel for the petitioner argued before the court that Hafiz Saeed cannot be detained only to please the Indian lobby on the false propaganda that he is involved in the Mumbai attacks - a bald allegation being leveled only to conceal the Indian security lapses. Rejecting the government’s contention that Hafiz Mohammad Saeed had been put under house arrest due to his alleged al-Qaeda and Taliban links and that he should remain behind bars in the interest of Pakistan and for his own security, comprising Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Justice Hasnat Ahmad Khan and Justice Zubdatul Hussain ruled that the government has no evidence of Hafiz Saeed’s links with al-Qaeda or his involvement in any anti-state activity except for the Indian allegations that he had been involved in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. On May 30, 2009, hardly three days before the LHC verdict was announced, the Attorney General of Pakistan Latif Khosa had presented documentary evidence to the three-member Lahore High Court bench, linking the JuD to al-Qaeda and Taliban and pleading that the JuD ameer should remain under house arrest. Khosa further told the court that Hafiz Mohammad Saeed was detained after the United Nations declared his group a terrorist outfit in the wake of the Mumbai attacks. He pleaded that the action of the UNSC Sanctions Committee obliged the Pakistan government to act against the JUD leadership. When the LHC judges did not agree with his contention and asked him whether the government had any independent evidence of its own, Latif Khosa met the three honourable judges privately and told them that one of the culprits involved in the Mumbai attack – Commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi - has known links with Hafiz Saeed. He pleaded that the lone surviving Mumbai attacker Ajmal Kasab has already admitted to being a Pakistani national and having been trained for the 26/11 attacks by Lakhvi, the LeT’s chief operational commander and a close associate of Hafiz Saeed. Latif Khosa then showed the judges what he claimed was independent evidence of the JuD’s links with al-Qaeda. Interestingly, however, the LHC judges wanted to see a copy of the government notification under which the al-Qaeda had been declared a terrorist organisation. Two days later, on June 1, 2009, the Attorney General went back to the court and told the judges that the Pakistan government had not yet declared al-Qaeda a terrorist organisation. The court subsequently told the Attorney General if that was the case, Hafiz Saeed’s having links with al-Qaeda was no offence under the law of the land. The LHC released its detailed verdict on June 6, 2009, making public the grounds on which it had ordered the release of the JuD chief. One of the grounds said: “It would be relevant to mention here at this juncture that the security laws and anti-terrorism laws of Pakistan are so far silent about the fact that al-Qaeda was a terrorist organisation”. The Lahore High Court judgment further added: “Even after the perusal of the documents presented by the government, we do not find any material declaring that Hafiz Saeed’s detention was necessary for the security of the petitioner and there was no evidence that the petitioner had any links with either al-Qaeda or any other terrorist movement. The material provided by the government to the court in chamber against petitioners was mostly based on reports of intelligence agencies which had been obtained after their detention, but even then, there was no solid evidence or source to supplement the reports”. “As regard the contention of the Attorney General of Pakistan that the petitioners are being blamed to be involved in Mumbai attacks, not a single document was brought on the record showing that the JuD or the petitioners were ever involved in the incident. As far as the allegation in the UN resolution that Hafiz Saeed and Zaki Lakhvi had links with al-Qaeda, we have found that in the earlier judgment, as reported in Mamoona Saeed Vs the Government of Punjab etc (PLD 2007 Lahore 128), it was observed that there was no evidence against the JuD for its links with al-Qaeda”. About the legality of the detention orders, the LHC bench observed as per Article 10 (5) of the Constitution, it was mandatory on the detaining authority to provide grounds for detention on which the order had been made within 15 days. However, the relevant authority made clear violation of explicit provisions of the Pakistani Constitution, which deprived the JuD petitioners from assailing their detention before the competent forum and also to know the allegations against them”. Concluding the verdict, all three judges on the bench observed with a unanimous view that the writ petition in form of habeas corpus was maintainable as prima facie the Pakistan government had no sufficient grounds to detain the petitioners for preventive measures. “So far as resolution of the UN is concerned, there was no matter before this court about its vires and the federal government can act upon the same in letter in spirit, if so advised, but relying upon the same their detention cannot be maintained as it was even not desired thereby. Hence the writ petition is allowed and the impugned detention orders are quashed”, the three-member LHC bench had observed in its verdict.

DTN News: Airbus Keeps 2013 Goal For A350 To Enter Service, Gallois Says

DTN News: Airbus Keeps 2013 Goal For A350 To Enter Service, Gallois Says
*Source: DTN News / Bloomberg By Andrea Rothman
(NSI News Source Info) PARIS, France - July 29, 2009: Airbus SAS is sticking to plans to put its A350 into service by 2013 even as the company struggles to build the airliner at the desired weight and faces potential certification difficulties. “The calendar is tight, it’s ambitious and we’re still on track,” Louis Gallois, chief executive officer of Airbus parent European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. said in an interview today after announcing second-quarter earnings. Getting the plane approved for flying involves certifying the greater use of composite materials. The plane, which will seat 314 people in its initial A350- 900 version, will compete with Boeing Co.’s 250-seat 787 Dreamliner and the larger 777. The 787 is the first to have a fuselage and wings built mainly of composite plastics. Boeing’s delays in getting its plane into service highlight challenges in completing designs that use the new technology, which makes the plane lighter than a traditional aluminum model. Boeing has blamed disruptions to the 787 on parts shortages, defects, redesigns and problems with suppliers. The aircraft has yet to fly, after missing a June 30 first-flight target. A new delivery timetable hasn’t been set. The lessons learned by Boeing cause some analysts to question whether Airbus’s schedule is realistic. “We have the A350 entering service in 2015,” two years after the company says it will be ready, said Richard Aboulafia, vice president at the Teal Group, a Fairfax, Virginia-based forecaster and consulting company. “They’re breaking new ground with the A350, just as Airbus did on the A380 and Boeing’s doing on the 787, and all those came out later than planned.” A380 Lessons After the Airbus A380 double-decker slipped more than two years behind schedule, the Toulouse, France-based EADS unit looked elsewhere in the parent company to find a leader for the A350 program, picking Didier Evrard, an executive previously with the MBDA missile joint venture. “I am particularly satisfied with the program management, which is a significant improvement compared with past programs,” Gallois said. “We are fighting against weight as is everybody in the business, and we still have some technical challenges ahead of us, but we’re on track for the time being.” Airbus is struggling to make the A350 as light as customers want. Weight affects how far the plane can fly, how much it can carry, and how much fuel is used. EADS posted a 69 percent rise in second-quarter earnings as it delivered more planes and said 2009 deliveries will at least match the year-earlier level. Growing Cash Pile Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and exceptionals rose to 656 million euros ($936 million), the Paris- and Munich-based company said today in a statement. Free cash flow advanced 20 percent to 1.17 billion euros in the first half as airline buyers made “limited” demands for financing help. “I simply did not expect them to be hanging on to the cash like this,” said Sandy Morris, an analyst at ABN Amro in London who recommends buying EADS shares. “The second-quarter performance is particularly good, and they raised free-cash-flow guidance a bit.” EADS rose 30 cents, or 2.3 percent, to 13 euros in Paris trading, extending the stock’s gain in the last 12 months to 8.5 percent. Boeing, EADS’s only competitor in making the largest airliners, has declined 32 percent in a year. Airbus, which contributes two-thirds of revenue at EADS, handed over more planes even as the airline industry suffers billions of dollars in losses because the global recession is sapping travel demand. The planemaker delivered 138 aircraft in the quarter compared with 116 a year earlier and intends to deliver at least as many planes in 2009 as in 2008, when it shipped 483. Plane Demand ‘Alive’ “The market is still alive,” Gallois said today on a conference call with analysts. Yan Derocles, an analyst at Oddo Securities in Paris, said he was disappointed not to have more information about negotiations on the A400M, given that defense ministers for the seven countries that ordered the plane met a week ago to discuss the project. Delays in building the A400M led to 715 million euros in costs in last year’s second quarter, and 191 million euros in the first six months. The model is four years behind schedule. EADS said today it welcomed the commitment of A400M customers to the program and is “continuing to work hard” to bring the plane back on track. The order from the seven governments is valued at 20 billion euros. A400M Effect Aboulafia said the fate of the A350 is tied to the A400M. If Airbus gets a new contract for the military plane it will have to invest significantly to get it into service. EADS is planning its first A400M test flight by December. The U.K., France and Germany are among the countries with a combined 180 A400Ms on order. Gallois also said today that Boeing’s problems in getting the 787 to market are helping Airbus sell A330s, the twin-engine plane that earlier took market share from Boeing’s 767, driving the competitor to develop the 787. “The 787 problems support the A330,” he said. “They don’t really help the A350 because for that plane, there are no delivery slots left until around 2015, 2016,” he said. Gallois said there was a “severe” price war when Boeing started selling the 787, but that Airbus has “returned to a level of pricing that’s more reasonable.” Even so, the planemaker said the outlook for airline orders is more fragile than for military planes. Airlines Challenged “There is no clear sign of stabilization since traffic and yield deterioration as well as funding conditions are challenging airlines’ financials,” EADS said in a statement. Airbus had pledged as much as 1 billion euros in customer financing to help carriers buy planes. EADS said that while the group’s order book still shows overbooking for coming years, it will be prudent in making forecasts given declining traffic at most airlines. The International Air Transport Association forecast in June that deliveries by Airbus and Boeing may drop by as much as 30 percent in 2010. The company said today that 2009 handovers will at least match last year’s. Airbus Chief Operating Officer John Leahy said last month that 2009 plane deliveries will be “flat.” “We’re 18 months into the credit crunch, nine months into the financial crisis, and I might have thought it feasible that deliveries would drop like a stone,” ABN Amro’s Morris said. “It could be that they come down 10, even 20 percent. But for a 13 euro share price that’s not bad news.” A380 Schedule Net income for the second quarter increased 76 percent to 208 million euros from 118 million euros. Sales rose 19 percent to 11.7 billion euros. Airbus scaled back its full-year schedule for the 525-seat A380 superjumbo in May, saying it will deliver 14 of the double- decker airliners in 2009 instead of the 18 that were planned. Gallois said today that A380 costs are “still higher than expected.” Gallois said Airbus is examining remedies for the A380. “The learning curve is still too steep for the moment,” he said. “We’re spending too much money for each plane and we must see how this learning curve brings us to an average price per plane that we can rely on.” Even so, Gallois told analysts that Airbus has built a “more robust” customer base for 2010 deliveries and that it isn’t changing output plans. “Our backlog still sustains the current level of production rates,” the CEO said. “We are not in the situation of previous crises. The level of cancellation is very limited.” Plane Total Asked by an analyst whether delivering 500 planes might be possible based on projections from handover schedules, Gallois said he wouldn’t rule out that number. The difference between 483 and 500 planes may represent more than $1 billion in revenue depending on which type of aircraft are made. Gallois said the A400M is the company’s “biggest issue” and that negotiations with buyers will be “tough.” Governments buying the A400M granted Airbus on July 24 an extension through December to renegotiate. EADS today said it aims to reduce further loss on the program, adding that the full financial consequences won’t be known until negotiations are complete. That’s expected by the end of the year. The seven countries that placed the order for the A400M turboprop in 2003 had the right to drop the contract in April 2009 if the model hadn’t made its first test flight. Officials granted a three-month moratorium on any decision before extending it to the end of the year.

DTN News: Boeing, Ethiopian Airlines Announce Order For Five 777-200LRs

DTN News: Boeing, Ethiopian Airlines Announce Order For Five 777-200LRs
*Ethiopian is first African carrier to order long-range 777-200LR
*Source: DTN News / Boeing
(NSI News Source Info) SEATTLE - July 29, 2009: Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines yesterday July 28, announced an order for five Boeing 777-200LRs. In doing so, Ethiopian Airlines becomes the first African carrier to order and operate the ultra-long-range 777-200LR model. Ethiopian was the first African carrier to order the 787 Dreamliner, ordering 10 in 2005. The order is valued at $1.3 billion based on list price. General Electric GE90-115 engines power the 777-200LR. Based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the carrier is investing in the additional airplanes to expand its fleet and broaden its network. Ethiopian Airlines will use the 777-200LR to fly to new long-haul nonstop markets such as Washington, D.C. and Beijing. "The 777-200LR is the only airplane in the world that offers the range and efficiency Ethiopian needs to serve long-haul markets and further position Addis Ababa as a strategic hub for East Africa," said Ihssane Mounir, vice president of Sales for Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean. Ethiopian Airlines is currently an all-Boeing operator. With the exception of the 747, it has operated every heritage Boeing commercial airplane since the 707. "As one of the premier airlines in Africa and around the world, Ethiopian has long used Boeing airplanes as a tool for achieving its business goals," Mounir said. "The strategic long-range feature of the 777-200LR will again help Ethiopian expand its network and will be a perfect complement to its 787s." "The Boeing 777 will be integral as we bring our business to the next level," said Ethiopian Airlines Chief Executive Officer Ato Girma Wake. "Boeing has been an important and valued partner to Ethiopian for many, many years. This order reinforces the deep ties between our two companies." Ethiopian currently operates a fleet of six 737s, nine 757s, 10 767s and one MD-11BCF, with a second MD-11BCF due to arrive in August. It has 10 787s on order.

DTN News: Boeing Tracking and Data Relay Satellite Program Completes Ground System Review

DTN News: Boeing Tracking and Data Relay Satellite Program Completes Ground System Review *Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) EL SEGUNDO, Calif., - July 29, 2009: Boeing announced yesterday July 28, that the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) K program successfully completed its Ground Detailed Design Review (GDDR), held June 2-4 at NASA’s White Sands Complex, N.M. The milestone brings Boeing one step closer to building the K-L series of TDRS satellites, which will give NASA continuous, high-data-rate communications with the space shuttle, the Hubble Space Telescope, the International Space Station and dozens of unmanned scientific satellites in low-Earth orbit. “The successful design review occurred on schedule and moves us toward the TDRS K program's Critical Design Review early next year, where the finished design will be reviewed one final time before proceeding to spacecraft and ground system integration,” said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. “We have taken another important step toward enhancing the TDRS fleet with better signal processing and transmission, which will increase NASA’s operational effectiveness in space.” The GDDR followed the system-level Preliminary Design Review this spring and is the result of an ongoing collaboration among Boeing, teammate General Dynamics C4 Systems and NASA to develop a design that meets all ground system requirements. It evaluated program management, systems and subsystems engineering, safety and mission assurance, and ground software and hardware design. The review proved that the ground system design is sound and will be ready to support current and future satellites in the TDRS fleet, including TDRS H, I and J, which also were built by Boeing. NASA’s White Sands Complex provides the primary two-way communications between the TDRS satellites and their control and data-processing facilities. General Dynamics has provided engineering, operations and maintenance of the NASA satellite ground system since the inception of the TDRS system. A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide.

DTN News: The Russian Economy And Russian Power

DTN News: The Russian Economy And Russian Power
*Source: By George Friedman STRATFOR
(NSI News Source Info) - July 29, 2009: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Georgia and Ukraine partly answered questions over how U.S.-Russian talks went during U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Russia in early July. That Biden’s visit took place at all reaffirms the U.S. commitment to the principle that Russia does not have the right to a sphere of influence in these countries or anywhere in the former Soviet Union. The Americans’ willingness to confront the Russians on an issue of fundamental national interest to Russia therefore requires some explanation, as on the surface it seems a high-risk maneuver. Biden provided insights into the analytic framework of the Obama administration on Russia in a July 26 interview with The Wall Street Journal. In it, Biden said the United States “vastly” underestimates its hand. He added that “Russia has to make some very difficult, calculated decisions. They have a shrinking population base, they have a withering economy, they have a banking sector and structure that is not likely to be able to withstand the next 15 years, they’re in a situation where the world is changing before them and they’re clinging to something in the past that is not sustainable.” U.S. Policy Continuity The Russians have accused the United States of supporting pro-American forces in Ukraine, Georgia and other countries of the former Soviet Union under the cover of supporting democracy. They see the U.S. goal as surrounding the Soviet Union with pro-American states to put the future of the Russian Federation at risk. The summer 2008 Russian military action in Georgia was intended to deliver a message to the United States and the countries of the former Soviet Union that Russia was not prepared to tolerate such developments but was prepared to reverse them by force of arms if need be. Following his July summit, Obama sent Biden to the two most sensitive countries in the former Soviet Union — Ukraine and Georgia — to let the Russians know that the United States was not backing off its strategy in spite of Russian military superiority in the immediate region. In the long run, the United States is much more powerful than the Russians, and Biden was correct when he explicitly noted Russia’s failing demographics as a principal factor in Moscow’s long-term decline. But to paraphrase a noted economist, we don’t live in the long run. Right now, the Russian correlation of forces along Russia’s frontiers clearly favors the Russians, and the major U.S. deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan would prevent the Americans from intervening should the Russians choose to challenge pro-American governments in the former Soviet Union directly. Even so, Biden’s visit and interview show the Obama administration is maintaining the U.S. stance on Russia that has been in place since the Reagan years. Reagan saw the economy as Russia’s basic weakness. He felt that the greater the pressure on the Russian economy, the more forthcoming the Russians would be on geopolitical matters. The more concessions they made on geopolitical matters, the weaker their hold on Eastern Europe. And if Reagan’s demand that Russia “Tear down this wall, Mr. Gorbachev” was met, the Soviets would collapse. Ever since the Reagan administration, the idee fixe of not only the United States, but also NATO, China and Japan has been that the weakness of the Russian economy made it impossible for the Russians to play a significant regional role, let alone a global one. Therefore, regardless of Russian wishes, the West was free to forge whatever relations it wanted among Russian allies like Serbia and within the former Soviet Union. And certainly during the 1990s, Russia was paralyzed. Biden, however, is saying that whatever the current temporary regional advantage the Russians might have, in the end, their economy is crippled and Russia is not a country to be taken seriously. He went on publicly to point out that this should not be pointed out publicly, as there is no value in embarrassing Russia. The Russians certainly now understand what it means to hit the reset button Obama had referred to: The reset is back to the 1980s and 1990s. Reset to the 1980s and 90s To calculate the Russian response, it is important to consider how someone like Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin views the events of the 1980s and 1990s. After all, Putin was a KGB officer under Yuri Andropov, the former head of the KGB and later Chairman of the Communist Party for a short time — and the architect of glasnost and perestroika. It was the KGB that realized first that the Soviet Union was failing, which made sense because only the KGB had a comprehensive sense of the state of the Soviet Union. Andropov’s strategy was to shift from technology transfer through espionage — apparently Putin’s mission as a junior intelligence officer in Dresden in the former East Germany — to a more formal process of technology transfer. To induce the West to transfer technology and to invest in the Soviet Union, Moscow had to make substantial concessions in the area in which the West cared the most: geopolitics. To get what it needed, the Soviets had to dial back on the Cold War. Glasnost, or openness, had as its price reducing the threat to the West. But the greater part of the puzzle was perestroika, or the restructuring of the Soviet economy. This was where the greatest risk came, since the entire social and political structure of the Soviet Union was built around a command economy. But that economy was no longer functioning, and without perestroika, all of the investment and technology transfer would be meaningless. The Soviet Union could not metabolize it. Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was a communist, as we seem to forget, and a follower of Andropov. He was not a liberalizer because he saw liberalization as a virtue; rather, he saw it as a means to an end. And that end was saving the Communist Party, and with it the Soviet state. Gorbachev also understood that the twin challenge of concessions to the West geopolitically and a top-down revolution in Russia economically — simultaneously—risked massive destabilization. This is what Reagan was counting on, and what Gorbachev was trying to prevent. Gorbachev lost Andropov’s gamble. The Soviet Union collapsed, and with it the Communist Party. What followed was a decade of economic horror, at least as most Russians viewed it. From the West’s point of view, collapse looked like liberalization. From the Russian point of view, Russia went from a superpower that was poor to an even poorer geopolitical cripple. For the Russians, the experiment was a double failure. Not only did the Russian Empire retreat to the borders of the 18th century, but the economy became even more dysfunctional, except for a handful of oligarchs and some of their Western associates who stole whatever wasn’t nailed down. The Russians, and particularly Putin, took away a different lesson than the West did. The West assumed that economic dysfunction caused the Soviet Union to fail. Putin and his colleagues took away the idea that it was the attempt to repair economic dysfunction through wholesale reforms that caused Russia to fail. From Putin’s point of view, economic well-being and national power do not necessarily work in tandem where Russia is concerned. Russian Power, With or Without Prosperity Russia has been an economic wreck for most of its history, both under the czars and under the Soviets. The geography of Russia has a range of weaknesses, as we have explored. Russia’s geography, daunting infrastructural challenges and demographic structure all conspire against it. But the strategic power of Russia was never synchronized to its economic well-being. Certainly, following World War II the Russian economy was shattered and never quite came back together. Yet Russian global power was still enormous. A look at the crushing poverty — but undeniable power — of Russia during broad swaths of time from 1600 until Andropov arrived on the scene certainly gives credence to Putin’s view. The problems of the 1980s had as much to do with the weakening and corruption of the Communist Party under former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev as it had to do with intrinsic economic weakness. To put it differently, the Soviet Union was an economic wreck under Joseph Stalin as well. The Germans made a massive mistake in confusing Soviet economic weakness with military weakness. During the Cold War, the United States did not make that mistake. It understood that Soviet economic weakness did not track with Russian strategic power. Moscow might not be able to house its people, but its military power was not to be dismissed. What made an economic cripple into a military giant was political power. Both the czar and the Communist Party maintained a ruthless degree of control over society. That meant Moscow could divert resources from consumption to the military and suppress resistance. In a state run by terror, dissatisfaction with the state of the economy does not translate into either policy shifts or military weakness — and certainly not in the short term. Huge percentages of gross domestic product can be devoted to military purposes, even if used inefficiently there. Repression and terror smooth over public opinion. The czar used repression widely, and it was not until the army itself rebelled in World War I that the regime collapsed. Under Stalin, even at the worst moments of World War II, the army did not rebel. In both regimes, economic dysfunction was accepted as the inevitable price of strategic power. And dissent — even the hint of dissent — was dealt with by the only truly efficient state enterprise: the security apparatus, whether called the Okhraina, Cheka, NKVD, MGB or KGB. From the point of view of Putin, who has called the Soviet collapse the greatest tragedy of our time, the problem was not economic dysfunction. Rather, it was the attempt to completely overhaul the Soviet Union’s foreign and domestic policies simultaneously that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. And that collapse did not lead to an economic renaissance. Biden might not have meant to gloat, but he drove home the point that Putin believes. For Putin, the West, and particularly the United States, engineered the fall of the Soviet Union by policies crafted by the Reagan administration — and that same policy remains in place under the Obama administration. It is not clear that Putin and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev disagree with Biden’s analysis — the Russian economy truly is “withering” — except in one sense. Given the policies Putin has pursued, the Russian prime minister must believe he has a way to cope with that. In the short run, Putin might well have such a coping mechanism, and this is the temporary window of opportunity Biden alluded to. But in the long run, the solution is not improving the economy — that would be difficult, if not outright impossible, for a country as large and lightly populated as Russia. Rather, the solution is accepting that Russia’s economic weakness is endemic and creating a regime that allows Russia to be a great power in spite of that. Such a regime is the one that can create military power in the face of broad poverty, something we will call the “Chekist state.” This state uses its security apparatus, now known as the FSB, to control the public through repression, freeing the state to allocate resources to the military as needed. In other words, this is Putin coming full circle to his KGB roots, but without the teachings of an Andropov or Gorbachev to confuse the issue. This is not an ideological stance; it applies to the Romanovs and to the Bolsheviks. It is an operational principle embedded in Russian geopolitics and history. Counting on Russian strategic power to track Russian economic power is risky. Certainly, it did in the 1980s and 1990s, but Putin has worked to decouple the two. On the surface, it might seem a futile gesture, but in Russian history, this decoupling is the norm. Obama seems to understand this to the extent that he has tried to play off Medvedev (who appears less traditional) from Putin (who appears to be the more traditional), but we do not think this is a viable strategy — this is not a matter of Russian political personalities but of Russian geopolitical necessity. Biden seems to be saying that the Reagan strategy can play itself out permanently. Our view is that it plays itself out only so long as the Russian regime doesn’t reassert itself with the full power of the security apparatus and doesn’t decouple economic and military growth. Biden’s strategy works so long as this doesn’t happen. But in Russian history, this decoupling is the norm and the past 20 years is the exception. A strategy that assumes the Russians will once again decouple economic and military power requires a different response than ongoing, subcritical pressure. It requires that the window of opportunity the United States has handed Russia by its wars in the Islamic world be closed, and that the pressure on Russia be dramatically increased before the Russians move toward full repression and rapid rearmament. Ironically, in the very long run of the next couple of generations, it probably doesn’t matter whether the West heads off Russia at the pass because of another factor Biden mentioned: Russia’s shrinking demographics. Russian demography has been steadily worsening since World War I, particularly because birth rates have fallen. This slow-motion degradation turned into collapse during the 1990s. Russia’s birth rates are now well below starkly higher death rates; Russia already has more citizens in their 50s than in their teens. Russia can be a major power without a solid economy, but no one can be a major power without people. But even with demographics as poor as Russia’s, demographics do not change a country overnight. This is Russia’s moment, and the generation or so it will take demography to grind Russia down can be made very painful for the Americans. Biden has stated the American strategy: squeeze the Russians and let nature take its course. We suspect the Russians will squeeze back hard before they move off the stage of history.
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DTN News: U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates Has Arrived In Southern Iraq

DTN News: U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates Has Arrived In Southern Iraq *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) TALIL, Iraq - July 29, 2009: U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates landed in Iraq today on an unannounced visit to review a newly converted advisory brigade that represents a bellwether for the changing American role in the nation. US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates speaks with troops from the 4th Brigade, 1st Armored Division's Advise and Assist Mission at COB Adder in Tallil on July 28, 2009. Gates, on a previously unannounced mission, urged Iraq's communities to settle political differences before US troops leave by the end of 2011. The U.S. brigade at Tallil Air Base, in southern Iraq, has been overhauled from its traditional combat role to primarily advise and train Iraqi security forces. In addition, the 1st Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division will arrive in Iraq in September as the first such brigade trained in the U.S. As the U.S. draws down forces during the next year, its mission in Iraq is due to shift to one oriented toward a half dozen so-called advisory and assistance brigades. The speed of the transition will depend largely on the success of general elections scheduled for January and talks to resolve sectarian conflicts. During his visit, Gates also plans to meet with officials including Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who was in Washington last week to press for more normalized ties with the U.S. that go beyond military engagement to business, education and cultural links. Maliki left open the prospect of a continuing U.S. military presence in Iraq after the deadline for the withdrawal of American troops at the end of 2011. Gates has said in the past that Iraq might need further U.S. military aid. U.S. officials have said the two sides haven’t begun any talks on ties after the scheduled withdrawal. Joint Operations U.S. soldiers and Iraqi police officers working with them on joint operations in and around Tallil seem to have adapted to the change in their roles since U.S. forces pulled back from urban areas on June 30, Gates said after a tour and a series of briefings by officers on both sides. “It is amazingly different from December 2006,” Gates told a combined patrol preparing to go to Nasiriyah on a rotation to assist Iraqi police at a provincial joint operations center. Based on the briefings he had received, he said it was “going well down here.” Iraqi police Lieutenant Anwar Ghani said security in the area is good and the Iraqi government is able to contend with potentially divisive tribal loyalties. U.S. forces are on standby to help as needed, Ghani said in interview through an interpreter. Iraqi security forces recently discovered an insurgent weapons cache in Nasiriyah, complete with rockets, improvised explosive devices and control systems. Iranian Influence Training that the U.S. military provides at the request of their Iraqi partners includes a course next month for police on evidence collection and preserving crime scenes, said U.S. Army Major Sean Kuster. Iraqi Army Staff Major General Habib al-Hussani told Gates in one briefing he is still concerned about border security. As commander of the 10th Iraqi Army division, he urged Gates to make the border a priority and said his forces need more electronic monitoring equipment. Iran remains a source of concern, U.S. Army Lieutenant General Charles Jacoby said. Iran and Iraq share a common border. “We have seen consistent Iranian influence across all domains in Iraq, and we continue to see that today,” Jacoby told reporters. Gates, who flew to Baghdad from Tallil, stopped in Jordan yesterday to meet with King Abdullah II, urged more countries in the region to aid in the transition by normalizing relations with Iraq. Sanctions “The deepening economic and diplomatic ties between Iraq and Jordan offer an example of the type of support needed from other countries to fully re-integrate Iraq into the region,” Gates told reporters in the Jordanian capital Amman. “This is the only way to forge a stable and prosperous Iraq, a goal that is in the interest of all the nations of the Middle East.” Gates also told reporters in Amman yesterday that the U.S. would seek international backing for stiffer sanctions on Iran should the Persian Gulf nation rebuff talks aimed at curbing its nuclear program. “We would try to get international support for a much tougher position,” Gates said. He added that any new sanctions wouldn’t be incremental. Earlier yesterday, in meetings with top Israeli officials, Gates said the U.S. plan to engage Iran over its nuclear program wasn’t open ended, while his Israeli counterpart Ehud Barak warned that his country is considering all measures if diplomatic efforts fail. “No options should be removed from the table, despite the fact that at this stage priority should be given still to diplomacy,” Barak said at a joint press conference in Jerusalem with Gates. Barak is a former Israeli prime minister. The U.S. and Israel suspect that Iran’s nuclear program is aimed at building a weapon, while Iran says its atomic pursuits are a legitimate effort to generate nuclear power.

DTN News: Britain To Withdraw Remaining Forces From Iraq

DTN News: Britain To Withdraw Remaining Forces From Iraq *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) BAGHDAD, Iraq - July 29, 2009: Britain will withdraw its remaining forces from Iraq to Kuwait by the end of the month because the Iraqi parliament failed to pass a deal allowing them to stay to protect oil platforms and provide training, a spokesman said Tuesday. Britain already has withdrawn its combat forces according to a previous agreement. The British Ministry of Defense said the new announcement related to between 100 and 150 mostly navy personnel left to train the Iraqi navy. U.S. troops would be standing in for the British while they were out of the country, according to the ministry. An agreement reached with the Iraqi government would have let some British troops stay in Iraq to train after most had left their bases around the southern city of Basra. The lingering presence has faced opposition, principally by followers of anti-U.S. Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr who stalled the ratification of the deal until lawmakers adjourned Monday for their summer recess. British Embassy spokesman Jawwad Syed said Tuesday it's a procedural delay and that the remaining British forces will pull back to Kuwait until the issue is resolved. The troops' existing mandate expires on July 31. "The guys who were doing the training are temporarily moving out to Kuwait while we talk to the Iraqi government about what we might do in the interim," Syed said. "We have general broad support for our agreement ... we're hopeful that when we have the next parliamentary session, we should achieve a ratification." Syed and Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said talks were under way to find an interim solution. "The government considers it a benefit to have British forces for training purposes," al-Dabbagh said. But al-Sadr's followers struck a hard-line. "We will insist on blocking this agreement even after the end of the parliament's recess," Sadrist lawmaker Falah Shanshal said. "We reject any foreign presence on our waters and land." At the height of combat operations in the months after the U.S.-led invasion, Britain had 46,000 troops in Iraq. Washington still has about 130,000 troops in Iraq and has shifted units south as London ended its combat mission. British Defense Secretary Bob Ainsworth said the British troops were likely to be out of Iraq until late September, when parliament resumes after Ramadan. "(The agreement) had successful first and second readings but the imminent Iraqi summer recess and Kurdish elections on July 25 have meant that their parliament has not yet been able to reach the quorum needed to have the third and final reading," he wrote in a July 24 letter to opposition defense spokesman Liam Fox. Ainsworth said the government had been "deliberately keeping a low public profile" on the issue so as not to increase the risk to British forces. The area in southern Iraq has been relatively peaceful since the Iraqi government staged a U.S.-backed offensive last year to quell violence by Shiite militias. While violence nationwide have been declining, crime, on the other hand, has been on the rise. Gunmen killed eight security guards and made off with nearly $7 million Tuesday during an early morning robbery at a bank in central Baghdad. It was the second deadly robbery in a week in Baghdad's commercial Karradah district. A special committee made up of Iraqi army, police and bank officials was formed to investigate the robbery, which netted 8 billion Iraqi Dinars ($6.9 million), according to an Interior Ministry official. The gunmen broke into the state-run Rafidain Bank at about 4 a.m., killing three on-duty guards and five others on the premises, who were either on a break or asleep, said an Iraqi police official. Investigators believe the gunmen used silencer-fitted weapons during the attack because witnesses and neighbors didn't hear any gunshots. All the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information to the media. Five people were killed Sunday when gunmen broke into the al-Nibal money exchange office in Karradah shortly before noon, killing three employees and two customers and wounding 12 others, including eight employees.

DTN News: Israeli And Korean Firms In radar Deal

DTN News: Israeli And Korean Firms In radar Deal
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) SEOUL, South Korea - July 29, 2009: Israeli and South Korean avionics firms will sign an agreement in September to develop a mechanically scanned array radar for the South Korean air force. LIG Nex1, based in Seoul, and Elta Systems, part of Israel Aerospace Industries, will build the system for South Korea's upcoming TA-50 light-armed aircraft and the FA-50 attack fighters, a report in The Korea Times newspaper stated. An official signing ceremony will take place Sept. 3 in Seoul, the report said, quoting unnamed sources within South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program. The jointly produced radar will be based on Elta's EL/M-2032 radar technologies with a look-up tracking range of 40-65 miles. The domestically built, or "indigenous," radar is scheduled to be operating by the end of 2010 and in service the following year with the Republic of Korea air force, the source said. The agreement is in keeping with South Korea's strategy to develop and manufacture its own military equipment part financed by export orders including interest from Iraq and India. The TA-50 and FA-50 are direct developments from the country's two-seater T-50 Golden Eagle, a supersonic advanced trainer first built by Korean Aerospace Industries in the early 1990s. The TA and FA are derived from the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon, the trainer developed for future pilots of the F-16, which is used by South Korea. The T-50 trainer uses a General Electric F404 turbofan engine producing 17,700 lbf of thrust for a maximum speed of Mach 1.4 to 48,000 feet altitude. The range is around 1,150 miles. It entered service with Korea in February 2005 and around 50 have been built with a price tag estimated at $21 million apiece in 2008. Lockheed Martin built an A-50, the armed version of the T-50 that carries a 20mm cannon and an AIM-9 Sidewinder heat-seeking air-to-air missile. It also uses their own AN/PG-67(v)4 radar. South Korea's TA-50 and the more heavily armed single-seater FA-50 were to use the Israeli EL/M-2032 pulse-Doppler radar. They will now use the joint Israeli-Korean developed radar based on the EL/M-2032. Cooperation between the two firms could lead to development of an active electronically scanned array radar system, The Korea Times noted. Sixty FA-50 versions are scheduled to be operating by 2013. Sales of T-50s were discusses by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in February during a meeting that focused on Korean opportunities to help rebuild the Iraqi infrastructure, The Korea Times reported in March. No sources were named in the report. An Iraqi pilot accompanying Iraqi Defense Minister Abdul-Qader al-Obeidi to Korea in January flew a T-50, the Times said.

DTN News: Embraer Breaks Ground For Its New Facility In Portugal

DTN News: Embraer Breaks Ground For Its New Facility In Portugal *Source: DTN News / Embraer
(NSI News Source Info) SÃO JOSÉ DOS CAMPOS, Brazil - July 29, 2009: Embraer broke ground, today, for a new industrial unit to be built in the city of Évora, Portugal. Participating in the event were the Prime Minister of Portugal, José Socrates, and Embraer’s President & CEO, Frederico Fleury Curado, along with the Mayor of Évora and other Portuguese Government officials. Evora is a Portuguese wine region centered around the town of Évora in the Alentejo region. The region has the second tier Indicação de Proveniencia Regulamentada (IPR) classification and may some day be promoted to Denominação de Origem Controlada (DOC). The region is known for its creamy, full bodied red wines. The new 15,000-square-meter facility, scheduled for completion by the end of 2011, will be dedicated to manufacturing complex airframe structures and components in composite materials. “Today’s groundbreaking celebrates a milestone for Embraer, as it expands its global presence,” said Frederico Fleury Curado, Embraer President & CEO. “This is a strategic step towards improving our Company’s productivity and competitiveness. We are honored and proud to strengthen our bonds with Portugal and, more widely, with Europe, one of our largest and most important markets.” The new composite material manufacturing facility will rely on state-of-the-art manufacturing processes, in conjunction with the Company’s lean manufacturing initiatives. In order to sustain
and further develop the competencies of its centers of excellence, Embraer has been in contact with local organizations, including potential suppliers, research centers, and universities. This facility represents an estimated total investment of € 48 million, which is fully integrated with Embraer’s long-term planning and budget, and consistent with Company’s economic and financial projections. “We are proud to celebrate this achievement for Portugal, as we progress in consolidating our aerospace cluster,” said José Socrates, Prime Minister of Portugal. “The expansion of Embraer in our country will be a big boost for the economic development of Évora and its region, and will demonstrate the competence of our workforce and the ability of our country to be involved in such a selective and demanding industry.” About Évora Évora is the capital of the Alentejo region (130 km south of Lisbon), in Portugal, and plays an important role as an agricultural and services center. It is the home of several institutions that
are highly important to the region, such as the state-run University of Évora and the district hospital. Recently, Évora has developed the aerospace sector by creating a new 877,000-square-meter
Aerospace Industrial Park, located near the municipal airfield. Embraer will be the first investor. Due to its well-preserved old town center, which is still partially enclosed by medieval walls, and a large number of monuments dating from various historical periods, including a Roman Temple, Évora is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the Embraer at Note to Editors Embraer (Empresa Brasileira de Aeronáutica S.A. - NYSE: ERJ; Bovespa: EMBR3) is the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial jets up to 120 seats, and one of Brazil’s leading exporters. Embraer’s headquarters are located in São José dos Campos, São Paulo, and it has offices, industrial operations and customer service facilities in Brazil, the United States, France, Portugal, China and Singapore. Founded in 1969, the Company designs, develops, manufactures and sells aircraft for the Commercial Aviation, Executive Aviation, and Defense segments.
The Company also provides after sales support and services to customers worldwide. On June 30, 2009, Embraer had a workforce of 17,237 employees – not counting the employees of its subsidiaries OGMA and HEAI – and its firm order backlog totaled US$ 19.8 billion.

DTN News: Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) Six Surplus F-16s Delivered To Jordanian Air Force

DTN News: Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) Six Surplus F-16s Delivered To Jordanian Air Force *Source: DTN News / Defense Media F-16
(NSI News Source Info) Leeuwarden Air Base, Netherlands - July 29, 2009: The Dutch Ministry of Defence, announced that this morning six surplus RNLAF F-16's took off from Leeuwarden airbase, for a new home in Jordan.
RJAF F-16BM #138 seen landing at Aviano AB on September 10th, 2008, during a stopover before continuing onto Jordan. This aircraft is ex-BAF #FB-04.
The F-16s, all two-seater configured F-16BMs, have been sold to Jordan in an agreement signed in 2007.
Each of the six jets (Dutch serials: #J-267, #J-269, #J-270, #J-650, #J-653 & #J-654) has spent the last few weeks being prepared for the transfer at the Logistics Centre in Woensdrecht with help from technicians from Jordan working alongside Dutch personnel.
Subsequently, acceptance flights have been carried out during the past days at Leeuwarden by Dutch pilots and with pilots of the Jordanian Air Force in the back seats.
The aircraft flown by Jordanian pilots left today heading to their new home near Amman. They are expected to arrive in Jordan tomorrow.

DTN News: Force Protection Receives $52.8 Million Order For Buffalo Route Clearance Vehicles

DTN News: Force Protection Receives $52.8 Million Order For Buffalo Route Clearance Vehicles *Source: DTN News / Force Protection, Inc. Date ~ 07/28/2009
(NSI News Source Info) Ladson, SC - July 29, 2009: Force Protection, Inc., a leading designer, developer and manufacturer of survivability solutions and provider of total life cycle support for those products, today announced that it has received a modification to contract W56HZV-08-C-0028 from the United States Army Tank- automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) for approximately $52.8 million for 48 Buffalo Mine Protected Clearance Vehicles (MPCV). This contract modification is subject to definitization.
The Buffalo mine protected vehicle built by Force Protection Inc is based on the successful South African Casspir mine-protected vehicle. As of late 2004, the United States has a limited number of Buffaloes in service, with an order for 15 more, at a cost of $10 million. While the Casspir is a four wheeled vehicle, the Buffalo has six wheels. They are also fitted with a large articulated arm, used for ordnance disposal. Both vehicles incorporate a "V" shaped monohull chassis that directs the force of the blast away from the occupants. It is also now equipped with BAE Systems' LROD cage armor for additional protection against RPG-7 anti-tank rounds. The Buffalo combines ballistic and blast protection with technology to detect the presence of dangerous ordnance and render it ineffective. Personnel operate the Buffalo’s 30-foot robotic arm and iron claw from within the armored hull via a mounted camera and sensory equipment, disposing of mines and IEDs safely. On June 6, 2008 Force Protection, Inc delivered its 200th Buffalo to the U.S. Military.
The work will be performed in Ladson, SC and is expected to be completed prior to January 31, 2010. As a result of this award and a continued commitment to the Buffalo program, Force Protection on July 27th, 2009 amended and extended its lease for building 3 at its Ladson, SC facility until June 30, 2014.
Michael Moody, Chief Executive Officer of Force Protection, commented, “This order from TACOM is representative of the ongoing demand and requirements for the Buffalo as an integral component of the United States Army’s route clearance companies for the long term. The extension of our lease for the Buffalo manufacturing facility is an indication of our commitment to meeting the current and future requirements for Buffalo and its vital mission. ”
About Force Protection, Inc.
Force Protection, Inc. is a leading American designer, developer and manufacturer of survivability solutions, predominantly blast- and ballistic-protected wheeled vehicles currently deployed by the U.S. military and its allies to support armed forces and security personnel in conflict zones. The Company’s specialty vehicles, the Cougar, the Buffalo and the Cheetah, are designed specifically for reconnaissance and urban operations and to protect their occupants from landmines, hostile fire, and improvised explosive devices (IEDs, commonly referred to as roadside bombs). The Company also is the developer and manufacturer of ForceArmor™, an armor package providing superior protection against explosively formed projectiles (EFPs), now available for a wide range of tactical-wheeled vehicles. The Company is one of the original developers and primary providers of vehicles for the U.S. military’s Mine Resistant Ambush Protected, or MRAP, vehicle program. For more information on Force Protection and its vehicles, visit
Force Protection, Inc. Safe Harbor Language
This press release contains forward looking statements that are not historical facts, including statements about our beliefs and expectations. These statements are based on beliefs and assumptions of Force Protection’s management, and on information currently available to management. These forward looking statements include, among other things: the growth and demand for Force Protection’s vehicles, including the Buffalo vehicle; the rate at which the Company will be able to produce these vehicles; its expected work completion dates for the vehicles and the ability to meet current and future requirements; and the Company’s expected financial and operating results, including its revenues and cash flow, for future periods. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update any of them publicly in light of new information or future events. A number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. Examples of these factors include, but are not limited to, the ability to effectively manage the risks in the Company’s business; the ability to develop new technologies and products and the acceptance of these technologies and products; the ability to obtain and complete new orders for its vehicles and products; the Company’s ability to identify and remedy its internal control weaknesses and deficiencies; and other risk factors and cautionary statements listed in the Company’s periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the risks set forth in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008, as updated in the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended March 31, 2009.

DTN News: Hawker Beechcraft to Highlight #1 Turboprop Lineup In The World At AirVenture Oshkosh

DTN News: Hawker Beechcraft to Highlight #1 Turboprop Lineup In The World At AirVenture Oshkosh *Source: DTN News / Hawker Beechcraft
(NSI News Source Info) WICHITA, Kan. - July 29, 2009: As the manufacturer of the #1 turboprop lineup in the world, Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) today announces its plans to showcase its popular aircraft at this year’s Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture Oshkosh from July 27 to August 2 in Oshkosh, Wis. HBC will display its three Beechcraft King Air turboprop aircraft, along with the world’s fastest single-pilot business jet and its renowned piston products at the show, considered "The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration". "Much like AirVenture Oshkosh, Beechcraft products have a proud history and a tradition of success," said Shawn Vick, HBC executive vice president. "Our aircraft represent quality, efficiency and leading performance in the industry. Every aircraft is built with an expectation of excellence, which comes from multiple generations of aircraft manufacturing." Many of the company’s popular aircraft will be on public display at the show: *Beechcraft Premier IA – The Premier IA is the most advanced light jet with the world’s first certified composite fuselage. The aircraft offers customers an industry-leading combination of speed, cabin size and efficiency, along with a new interior, upgraded avionics and a five-year warranty. *Beechcraft King Air 350 – The King Air series is the #1 turboprop lineup in the world. As the flagship Beechcraft King Air model, the King Air 350 offers the utmost in versatility and capability and features a class-leading heated, pressurized and in-flight-accessible baggage area – the largest in its class. This aircraft can operate on runways as short as 3,300 feet with exceptional short-field performance.
*Beechcraft King Air B200GT – Now with Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-52 engines, the King Air B200GT delivers higher cruise speeds and faster climb times than ever before. With this aircraft, a heavy business load never stops your business. *Beechcraft King Air C90GTi – Advanced Collins Pro Line 21™ fully integrated avionics take the new Beechcraft King Air C90GTi cockpit to that of our other King Air aircraft and larger jets, while retaining the same operational flexibility, a private lavatory and a 50 percent larger cabin than most very light jets. *Beechcraft Baron G58 – The twin-engine piston that pilots aspire to own, this aircraft features fully integrated Garmin G1000® avionics with a GFC 700 flight control system and new GWX 68 color weather radar. *Beechcraft Bonanza G36 – This aircraft is the most prestigious high-performance single-engine piston on the market with the longest continual production run in the industry of more than 60 years. The Bonanza G36 features Garmin G1000® avionics and a GFC 700 flight control system. HBC will also host a breakfast for participants of the annual Bonanzas to Oshkosh (B2OSH). The 19th B2OSH event will feature more than 130 Bonanza aircraft flying into Oshkosh on Saturday, July 25. Some HBC employees will participate in the event by flying or riding in one of the many Bonanzas. Hawker Beechcraft Corporation is a world-leading manufacturer of business, special mission and trainer aircraft – designing, marketing and supporting aviation products and services for businesses, governments and individuals worldwide. The company’s headquarters and major facilities are located in Wichita, Kan., with operations in Salina, Kan.; Little Rock, Ark.; Chester, England, U.K.; and Chihuahua, Mexico. The company leads the industry with a global network of more than 100 factory-owned and authorized service centers.
For more information, visit

DTN News: Royal Saudi Air Force Technicians Make The Grade

DTN News: Royal Saudi Air Force Technicians Make The Grade
*Source: DTN News / BAE Systems (NSI News Source Info) COSFORD, U.K. - July 29, 2009: The first Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) Typhoon Aircraft Maintenance Mechanics (AMM) have completed their UK training and graduated from 29(R) Sqn (Royal Saudi Training Flight) at RAF Coningsby.
This significant milestone was marked by a formal graduation ceremony hosted by Wing Commander Stringer, Officer Commanding 29(R) Sqn with several other senior RAF, RSAF and MOD personnel in attendance. Graduation certificates and individual awards were presented on the day by Colonel Al-Gazlan, the Saudi Air Attach based at their London Embassy. This event marks the successful end of the first AMM UK training programme which started around two years ago. It included English language training, an intensive technical training programme at the Defence College for Aeronautical Engineering (DCAE) at Cosford, Typhoon type training at BAE Systems Warton, and concluded with a period of practical consolidation training at RAF Coningsby, where the trainees worked along side RAF personnel in gaining their flight line authorisations and practical experience. Wing Commander Stringer remarked on how well the whole training programme had been conducted and he congratulated all of the trainees for their excellent performance on operational duties on 29(R)Sqn. The RAF and BAE Systems also jointly presented special awards to the most improved and outstanding trainees. The first graduated students have now returned to Saudi Arabia, and have joined the RSAF and BAE Systems team in preparing for the arrival of the first Typhoon aircraft into service. The remainder of the RSAF trainees continue training throughout the UK, and will be progressively transferred back to Saudi Arabia to support future aircraft deliveries.

DTN News: Lockheed Martin Unveils First Stealth Fighter For U.S. Navy

DTN News: Lockheed Martin Unveils First Stealth Fighter For U.S. Navy *Source: DTN News / Lockheed Martin
(NSI News Source Info) Ft. Worth, TX, - July 29, 2009: A ceremony yesterday July 28, at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth plant marked the rollout of the U.S. Navy’s first-ever stealth fighter, the F-35C Lightning II. The aircraft will enable the Navy to possess 5th generation fighter capabilities at sea, extending America’s reach and reducing the timeline from threat to response. Top Navy leadership, signal flags and a crowd of employees, including reserve and retired Navy personnel, were on hand to celebrate the strike fighter’s unveiling. Adm. Gary Roughead, the U.S. Navy’s Chief of Naval Operations, welcomed the new aircraft to the fleet. Adm. Gary Roughead, the U.S. Navy’s Chief of Naval Operations, addresses the crowd at the rollout ceremony of the first F-35C Lightning II carrier variant The F-35C is on schedule to meet the Navy’s Initial Operational Capability in 2015, and represents a leap in technology and capability over existing fighters, combining stealth with supersonic speed and high agility. “The JSF will show the world that our Sailors will never be in a fair fight because this airplane will top anything that comes its way,” Roughead said of the F-35. “It will give our Sailors and pilots the tactical and technical advantage in the skies, and it will relieve our aircraft as they age out.” Tom Burbage, a former Navy test pilot and the vice president and general manager of F-35 Program Integration for Lockheed Martin, thanked Navy leadership for being fully engaged in the F-35’s development and “actively working to define joint and coalition tactics that will exploit this platform in ways we’ve never envisioned. We at Lockheed Martin are both proud and humbled by the trust the U.S. Navy has placed with us to lead the development and introduction of the Navy’s newest stealthy, supersonic strike fighter.” The first F-35C, known as CF-1, will undergo a wide-ranging series of ground tests before its first flight, scheduled for late 2009. CF-1 is the ninth F-35 test aircraft to be rolled out, and joins a fleet of F-35A (conventional takeoff and landing) and F-35B (short takeoff/vertical landing) variants that have logged more than 100 flights. The F-35C is on schedule to meet the Navy’s Initial Operational Capability in 2015, and represents a leap in technology and capability over existing fighters, combining stealth with supersonic speed and high agility. The Lightning II employs the most powerful and comprehensive sensor package ever incorporated into a fighter. The F-35C possesses uncompromised carrier suitability and low-maintenance stealth materials designed for long-term durability in the carrier environment. The Lightning II’s operational and support costs are forecast to be lower than those of the fighters it will replace. The F-35 and F-22 are the world’s only 5th generation fighters, uniquely characterized by a combination of advanced stealth with supersonic speed and high agility, sensor fusion, network-enabled capabilities and advanced sustainment. The F-35 is a supersonic, multi-role, 5th generation strike fighter. Three F-35 variants derived from a common design, developed together and using the same sustainment infrastructure worldwide, will replace at least 13 types of aircraft for 11 nations initially, making the Lightning II the most cost-effective fighter program in history. Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Two separate, interchangeable F-35 engines are under development: the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team F136. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 146,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.

DTN News: Boeing Completes Major Design Milestone For SkyHook Heavy Lift Vehicle

DTN News: Boeing Completes Major Design Milestone For SkyHook Heavy Lift Vehicle
*Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) ST. LOUIS, - July 29, 2009: The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] and SkyHook International Inc. yesterday July 28, announced that the design of the SkyHook Heavy Lift Vehicle (HLV) has reached the configuration freeze milestone, meaning the aircraft's overall performance and layout have been established. SkyHook is designed to carry 40 tons sling loads up to 370 km without refueling, a capability that is not currently available, but is desired by several industries, including oil exploration and mining operations in the Canadian Arctic and Alaska, as well as companies operating in remote locations in South America, Europe and Africa. Boeing and SkyHook have worked on the SkyHook HLV's structural and systems design and its concept of operations since July 2008, resulting in the following improvements: - the addition of a three-piece tail for enhanced maneuverability- integration of lifting and thrusting propulsion systems- improved aerodynamics for increased payload capacity and range. "Boeing's Advanced Rotorcraft Systems team and our industry partner, SkyHook International Inc., are extremely pleased with the progress on the engineering of the aircraft," said Kenneth Laubsch, SkyHook program manager for Boeing. "We all sense that we are part of something revolutionary in the advancement of this extraordinary technology, and the aerospace industry in general." The next major program milestone will be Detailed Design in 2011, which centers on the design, analysis and specification of all hardware, software and related aircraft and ground support systems interfaces. "The SkyHook HLV technology is like nothing that has ever existed. We anticipate that the operational capability of this aircraft will allow SkyHook's customers to radically change the way they resupply and operate in remote regions, especially the north," said Rob Mayfield, director of SkyHook. "In the oil and gas industry, there are significant pressures on cost, speed, safety, and environmental impact, and the SkyHook HLV represents solutions to each of these challenges in various applications." SkyHook is designed to carry 80,000-pound (40-ton) sling loads up to 200 nautical miles without refueling -- a capability that is not currently available, but is desired by several industries, including oil exploration and mining operations in the Canadian Arctic and Alaska, as well as companies operating in remote locations in South America, Europe and Africa. Boeing is designing and will fabricate a production SkyHook HLV prototype at its Rotorcraft Systems facility in Ridley Park, Pa. The new aircraft will enter commercial service after it is certified by Transport Canada and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. The first SkyHook HLV aircraft is scheduled to fly in 2014. SkyHook International Inc. is a privately owned company located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide.

DTN News: Boeing And Turkish Airlines Finalize Order For Seven Additional 777-300ERs

DTN News: Boeing And Turkish Airlines Finalize Order For Seven Additional 777-300ERs *Source: DTN News / Boeing
(NSI News Source Info) SEATTLE - July 29, 2009: Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Turkish Airlines have finalized an order for seven Boeing 777-300ER (Extended Range) airplanes valued at $1.9 billion at current list prices. This order is in addition to the five 777-300ERs that Turkish Airlines ordered in April 2009, bringing their total 777-300ER orders to 12.
The Boeing 777 is a long-range, wide-body twin-engine airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. The world's largest twinjet and commonly referred to as the "Triple Seven", the aircraft can carry between 283 and 368 passengers in a three-class configuration and has a range from 5,235 to 9,380 nautical miles (9,695 to 17,372 km). Distinguishing features of the 777 include the largest diameter turbofan engines of any aircraft, six wheels on each main landing gear, its circular fuselage cross-section, and the blade-like end to the tail cone.
The airline currently operates a fleet of 65 Boeing airplanes including Next-Generation 737s and leased 777-300ERs. "The 777-300ER already provides Turkish Airlines with exceptional fuel economy, efficiency, reliability and high levels of cabin comfort for their passengers, combined with unmatched levels of payload and range." said Aldo Basile, vice president of Sales for Europe and Russia, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "This additional order is a further confirmation of Turkish Airline's plans for international expansion and their confidence in the abilities of the 777-300ER to help them meet these goals." The Boeing 777-300ER is 19 percent lighter than its closest competitor, greatly reducing its fuel requirement. It produces 22 percent less carbon dioxide per seat and costs 20 percent less to operate per seat. The airplane can seat up to 365 passengers in a three-class configuration and has a maximum range of 7,930 nautical miles (14,685 km). The 777 family is the world's most successful twin-engine, twin-aisle airplane. Fifty-six customers around the world have ordered more than 1,100 777s. Turkish Airlines is one of the fastest growing and prosperous airlines in the world. It carries approximately 20 million passengers a year, with direct flights to 108 international and 33 domestic destinations. The airline was founded in 1933 with a fleet of five airplanes that carried a total of 28 passengers. The airline made its first domestic flight in 1933 and the first international flight in 1947. This order will be posted to the Boeing Orders and Deliveries Web site when it is refreshed on July 30.